Oklahoma Sooners

Lincoln Riley’s new contract averages $3.5 million per year

Lincoln Riley

After the unexpected retirement of Bob Stoops as Oklahoma’s head coach, Lincoln Riley’s new contract details have been released. Riley was given a brand-new five-year contract worth an average of $3.5 million annually, a deal that the regents approved on Tuesday.

Under his previous deal as offensive coordinator, Riley would have made $1.3 million per year.

If the Sooners win a national title, Riley will receive a cool $425,000 bonus and his contract includes a $200,000 annual raise. According to USA Today’s annual coaching salaries from 2016, Lincoln Riley would be 33rd on that list of highest-paid coaches.

Following the news, AD Joe Casitglione said“Any time we make decisions about contracts, it’s always based on the result of a lot of evaluation, study, consideration about doing what’s right, and doing what best represents the University of Oklahoma. Not only what we say in valuing our employee… as well as giving some type of nod to the expectations we have around the programs and how one would be rewarded.”

The salary is certainly fair under Lincoln Riley’s new contract. He gets a substantial raise, but to put him into the upper echelon of coaching salaries at 33 years old, with zero head coaching experience, would be a mistake. This contract puts Riley into a tie with Bill Snyder for the 5th highest coaching salary in the Big 12 conference. That’s more than reasonable.

We all know that if Riley has incredible success in his first couple of seasons, the contract will be ripped up and reworked. He won’t need to leave this job for a bigger payday elsewhere, plus that’s just not who Lincoln Riley is.

The regents also approved the deal for Ruffin McNeil to come on as a defensive assistant for $560,000.

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